Hackney is where I've always lived. It informs my life's and music's perspective. So does my faith.
It inspires a lot of my writing. I'm a writer. Before any kind of meaningful encounter with rap or even music, I was always passionate about literature. I remember having my (awful) short horror story published at 8 years old in a children's anthology. Perhaps even the genre I chose to write is telling.
From such a young age, I was always more inwards than extroverted. (Or miserable, my sister might say). My reservedness changed only temporarily in secondary school when I thought I had to pretend for my peers. The details are present in the music, but these were the pivotal moments of my development, when I got into most of my troubles. I learned - the hard way - that not only is it strenuous to act off a script and play a role for acceptance, but it's also unnecessary and unbecoming.
I narrowly escaped some of the consequences that could have been. I proceeded to do some good things. Some that newspapers considered to be headline worthy, e.g. forego an offer to study at Cambridge University, instead getting a Sociology degree from LSE. Sociology also heavily informs my perspective.
Yet I find minimal joy in the relative 'success' people might say I've achieved when too many of those I'm surrounded by can't speak of the same. Too many have seen jail (an awful system), and a few have lost their lives...
It's this context that has led to my music being as "Introspective"; as deeply personal; as observant; and as inclined towards poetry, story-telling and implicit social commentary as it is.
So here I find myself, a reluctant artist who would always prefer to be unseen, simply obeying this unshakable compulsion to share these untold/under-told stories through my words... And sometimes that happens to be over beats. (Other times, it's through broadcast journalism and articles, as featured in The Guardian and The BBC.)
(My music is always best listened to in solitude and in headphones.)